Dad, I Need You by Erny McDonough

Archived in the category: Featured Writers, General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 15 Jun 17 - 0 Comments

Soon after “I broke my fool neck,” as I explained it to Joane, I had a great desire to call my parents. Now, Mom went to Heaven on October 5, 2005, and Dad followed on August 15, 2012, so I know they are not here to call. But, I still felt the desire to call them, because I was sure they would want to know and would be praying for me. Yes, I wanted Joane near and our kids and even the grandkids, because I always believed that anyone who broke their neck would not survive very long. I had seen it on television many times when the bad guys got their necks broken with a long rope! I wanted them near!

It seems that the older I get, the more importance I see for both the father and mother roles in the home, if we expect to produce well-adjusted children. The biblical roles ascribed to fathers and mothers do not imply superiority or inferiority, but rather defines functions and structures! What do children need from Dad?

Strength: It is only in gentleness that there is strength; only in strength can there be gentleness! Today’s macho man must be tough, can never cry, show fear, admit confusion (that is why we refuse to ask for directions), admit indecision, and can never make a mistake! Real strength comes from a healthy self-acceptance. We Dads are fallen beings who are capable of great achievements and even fellowship with God the Creator. Our kids deserve to know this, Dad!

Protection: Children are vulnerable and sensitive – one well known therapist told about children of domestic violence who suffer for ten to fifteen years afterwards – many are adversely affected for life.

Which type of Dad are you?

Neglectful = low in love – low in discipline; he avoids his children and flees all responsibilities!

Permissive = high in love – low in discipline; he actually fears (intimidated by) his children, who lead him!

Authoritarian = low in love – high in discipline; he fights with his children, forcing obedience, never earning respect!

Authoritative = high in love – high in discipline; he leads his children and fellowships with them!
Of course, the authoritative dad is the most successful in directing his children safely in this troubled world!


In a recent survey, 100 youth were asked, “Does your Dad personally communicate to you his moral and spiritual ideals? Only 2 said “Yes!” It is most often a ‘cop-out’ when a Dad talks of quality time to replace quantity time! Every child needs time with Dad and a lot of it! Most kids would spell love, T I M E!

Some dads truly deeply love their children, but often mistake fear with respect. Respect is earned by the teaching of values, which takes much time! Fear will be gained by ignoring or discounting the child’s feelings and problems. Respect each child as a unique individual and a valuable one! When respect is given from Dad, respect is returned, and every child deserves this from Dad!

Laughter: Being able to play together, share jokes and mistakes, and laughing appropriately will help families stay together and help the child enjoy being with the dad they so need!

Prayer: As a child realizes Dad prays, then the proper image of their Heavenly Father can be gained. When Dad prays, the young child feels God is real and indeed special, especially when Dad, who is the biggest, strongest guy that child knows, needs Him!

Fair and Prompt Decisions: Moms and Dads often defer to one another in decisions regarding a child! Dad, as head of the family, needs to determine what areas of family life he will delegate to the authority of his wife, and what he needs to retain exclusively! Kids need to know what the plan is and that there is no room for manipulation. Dads must let the children know where the fences are and that those fences are stronger than the child’s will!

A Role-Model: It is not sexist to declare that both boys and girls need both Dad and Mom! It is a fact that children’s first impression of God is gained from Dad. Sons and daughters are learning what manliness is from their dads. The type of husband a son becomes and the type of husband a daughter marries is strongly influenced by their perceptions of Dad! A dad whose attitude and actions in marriage are confused and inconsistent is a role model of unhappy marriages for his children! Dad, your child needs you as a proper Role-Model!

Dad, spiritually, you are the model that most often your entire family will follow! When Dad is spiritually weak, often the wife will be weak and most often the children are spiritually dead! But, when Dad takes the spiritual leadership – those God has delegated to him – as both family prophet and priest, he most often sees his loved ones allow the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives and they will all go to Heaven together!

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